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California Early Intervention Definitions A-F


An excessive acidity of the blood wherein the acid-base balance of the body is disturbed.

Adaptive Development

The acquisition of skills that are required to meet environmental demands. Adaptive development includes, but is not limited to, activities of self-care, such as dressing, eating, toileting, self-direction, environmental problem-solving and attention/arousal.

Asphyxia Neonatorum

A condition caused by insufficient oxygen at or near the time of birth.


The ongoing procedures used by qualified personnel throughout the period of an infant's or toddler's eligibility for early intervention services to identify the infant's or toddler's unique strengths and needs and the services appropriate to meet those needs. Assessment also includes the identification of the family's resources, priorities, and concerns regarding the development of the infant or toddler and the supports and services necessary to enhance the family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of the eligible infant or toddler. Initial assessment refers to the assessment of the child and the family assessment conducted prior to the child's first individualized family service plan (IFSP) meeting.

Assistive Technology Device

Any item, piece, of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an infant or toddler with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, including a cochlear implant, or the optimization (e.g., mapping), maintenance, or replacement of that device.

Authorized Representative

The parent or guardian of a minor, or person who is legally entitled to act on behalf of the infant, toddler or family.

Biomedical Insult

A general term referring to those biological or medical conditions such as infection or brain injury which may result in developmental delay or disability.

Cognitive Development

The acquisition of learning through ongoing interactions with the environment. Cognitive development involves perceiving, thinking, problem solving and remembering information.

Communication Development

The acquisition of expressive and/or receptive language skills which include understanding and/or using any of the following: gestures, facial expressions, speech reading, sign language, body postures and vocal and visual contacts with another person.


Any individual or organization filing a written complaint pursuant to the provisions of Subchapter 5, Article 3.


Areas that family members identify as needs, issues or problems they want to address as part of the individualized family service plan (IFSP) or the evaluation and assessment process which are related to meeting the developmental needs of the infant or toddler.


Calendar day unless otherwise stated.

Early Intervention Services

Services provided under public supervision, designed to meet the developmental needs of each eligible infant or toddler and the needs of the family related to the infant's or toddler's development. The services include but are not limited to assistive technology device and service; audiology; family training; counseling and home visits; health services; medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes; nursing services; nutrition services, occupational therapy; physical therapy; psychological services; service coordination; sign language and cued language services; social work services; special instruction; speech-language pathology services; transportation and related costs; and vision services. Early intervention services may include such services as respite and other family support services. The services are designed to meet the development needs of an infant or a toddler with a disability as defined in Government Code, Chapter 4, Eligibility §95014(a)(1) and in §52082(b)(3) for these regulations.


Procedures used by qualified personnel to determine an infant's or toddler's initial and continuing eligibility. An initial evaluation refers to the child's evaluation to determine his or her initial eligibility for early intervention services. The evaluation applies to infants and toddlers with a disability as specified in § 52020 and § 52022 of these regulations.

Exceptional Family Circumstances

Events beyond the control of the regional center or local educational agency (LEA). These include but are not limited to the infant's or toddler's or parent's illness, the infant's or toddler's and parent's absence from the geographical area, inability to locate the parent, or a natural disaster. Delays caused by the failure to obtain copies of existing records or other administrative events do not constitute exceptional circumstances.


The primary caregivers and others who assume major long-term roles in an infant's or toddler's daily life.

Fine Motor

The use of muscles that control small and detailed movements of the body, as an example, in the hand related to manual dexterity and coordination.

Funded Capacity

The number of eligible infants, between 12 and 16 students per instructional unit, that the California Department of Education requires LEAs to serve to maintain funding for their classes/programs/services in a given year pursuant to Education Code section 56728.8 as it read on November 1, 1993.


17 CCR § 52000

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